Still Better Than Love
Original Title: 比真愛還好
Release date: July 26th, 2017 [YT Public Publishing Date]
Director: Diane Kang (康黛安)
Screenplay by: Diane Kang (康黛安)
Cast: Lara Veronin (梁心頤), Danny Lee (李博翔)
Well, it’s been a long time. Asian Pop Weekly’s Jocelle got me out of my hibernation period with this short film, which she described as “very Taiwanese New Wave,” so I was expecting a lot Tsai Ming-liang introspection and Hou Hsiao-Hsien artsy depth of field cinematography, but what I got was a lot more similar to TiMER, which mixes its romantic comedy setting with sci-fi elements.
Romantic dramedies (and rom-coms) aren’t usually mixed with sci-fi — Gadgets! Texting and social media is as far as they usually go~~~ but in Diane Kang’s Still Better Than Love; which was featured at 32nd edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in the Connect/Disconnect theme Short Program; we see a couple that seems very much in love until we discover that this excitement stems from a small chip-like patch that prompts its users to feel the elation of being in love. The conflict arises when Tang (Veronin) wakes up with a faulty patch that the provider refuses to reimburse.
Is it true love? Is it the chemical reaction in your body? Is it all about meeting the right person at the right moment? Or is it about putting in the work? It doesn’t feel like Kang wants to respond any of these things, and is more than happy to let Lara Veronin’s character go through the motions of love and patch-attraction [cue Darren Hayes xD]; culminating in a public display of affection that reminded me of someone’s deportation . These things happen, people.
Also, you guys~ the comparison of not wanting to buy used patches with used underwear because “who would want to buy used underwear?” Burusera (ブルセラ) exists. Never underestimate a fetish. I’m sure there would be a market for used patches.
You can watch DIane Kang’s Still Better Than Love on YouTube with English subtitles.